I work in advertising but ironically, I am pretty anti-consumerism. The most I gift anyone are books and hence when it comes to gifting myself, I make myself feel guilty.

But this habit of mine started in 2019. Specifically, the Diwali of 2019, when during the Amazon sale, I bought myself a Kindle. None of my friends had it, I had never seen it physically, and 6k at that time was a big amount for me to spend on a luxury item. But, I went ahead and bought it, and that made way to my Diwali gift to myself of 2020.

But before, let me tell you how the Kindle changed me — I read almost 2x the books than usual after I bought it. And the biggest reason for me to buy it was the fact that I change houses so often, carrying books and their weight becomes a nightmare. But with a Kindle, I was carrying literally 100 books in my pocket, during my solo trips to Pondicherry or my New Year trip to Gokarna or during the lockdown, where book deliveries were not happening. And a few books that I would have never ordered on a whim physically, I got them on Kindle, 2 of them being on fitness.

Those 2 fitness books, one my Murakami and another by Dr Rangan Chatterjee paved the way for my Diwali gift of 2020 — A pair of running shoes. Boy oh boy. I had seen Casey Neistat run 40 km every day of sorts in his vlogs and I thought it must have been a child’s play. I was very wrong. And lockdown forcing everyone to stay home, everyone consumed a lot more calories and did a lot less exercising which resulted in weight gain. My story was the same too. In a year, I went from 78 kg to 91 kg, with my stomach out and stretchmarks all over.

It was a wake-up call and that Diwali gift to myself was very needed. Last Diwali, I ran properly for the first time in my adult life, and it was a full 200 mts. Yeah, I could not even run for 60 secs straight, had to walk and run through my first 1Km. Wondering how much impact those running shoes had? Yesterday I ran 3.54 km, straight, without walking in between.

Diwali is coming in 2 weeks, so what will be this year’s gift? For the longest time, I didn’t think I needed anything(read the guilt part of buying in para 1 again). Eventually, I thought I’ll buy wireless earphones for the sake of it, to keep the habit going. But now I have figured out what I really need and can buy without guilt.

But I’ll keep it to myself for now, will probably update in a few months and tell you how that gift is helping me.